2 smuggling busts yield over $250K in marijuana, liquid meth - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

2 smuggling busts yield over $250K in marijuana, liquid meth

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PINE VALLEY (CNS) - More than $250,000 worth of marijuana and liquid methamphetamine was seized in two separate smuggling attempts at San Diego-area Border Patrol checkpoints, the federal agency reported Thursday.

Agents stopped a 39-year-old Mexican national in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee about 7 p.m. Sunday at the Interstate 8 checkpoint near Pine Valley. They became suspicious of the driver's "nervous demeanor" and called in dogs to inspect the SUV, according to Border Patrol Agent Scott Simon.

Agents found 23 bundles of marijuana wrapped in cellophane inside the SUV's gas tank and spare tire, Simon said. The suspected smuggler and the 57.3 pounds of pot, worth an estimated $85,950, were turned over to a multi-agency task force for further investigation, he said.

About 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, a 35-year-old Mexican national in a 2008 Ford Fiesta was stopped at the Interstate 15 checkpoint near Temecula, Simon said.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to a freezer bag containing 8.38 pounds of liquid methamphetamine -- with an estimated street value of $167,000 -- hidden in the car's gas tank, Simon said.

The suspected smuggler and the narcotics were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Both vehicles were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol, Simon said.

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